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Delta metal

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Maybe it's Eddie. Maybe it's Alex. Maybe it's the gyrating schoolteacher in a bikini. Whatever. Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" is probably my favorite music video and consequently one of my favorite songs. One-man band Skull threw in a version of this tune last Friday at Spy Bar, a joint that's starting to make some live music noise.

Skull (Bernie to his pals) is an amazing guitar player who plays electric drums with his feet --- not programmed drums or triggers but different pedals for each drum sound. It was Delta metal and a whole lot of fun. Skull heated up for The Franks, whose guitar player's cable added a new static edge to their sharp twang 'n' bang.

Missed David Poe's set on the Yellow Umbrella Tour's stop at Milestones, but got to watch him mack on the same chick as the soundman. Sarah Bettens (ex-K's Choice) played a mellow, acoustic, barefoot set that was beautiful without being too sweet. I think I believe altos more.

Headliner Duncan Sheik looked like he had slept in his clothes (he had bed head and bed face) but sounded great with his bare-boned trio (cool abbreviated trap set) and about 100 guitars all over the stage. He opened with "Good Morning," a haunting, sleepy tune where the devil reminds the protagonist of their terms.

Later the same night, at the Bug Jar: SF's Thee More Shallows played primitive and Pink (as in Floyd) with the guitar player plugged into a American Tourister full o' goodies. They sounded a little edgier than on record, with just a hint of dissonant descent.

The relatively new Keith Parkins-fronted Tiger Cried Beef followed with a smooth overcast tone. Not happy, not sad, but hopeful. It's interesting and evocative music that, despite its nonchalance, moves with a complex intensity and charm. Not sure why I like 'em, but I do.

LA's Deke Dickerson blew through Rochester so fast last week I had to catch up with him at NYC's Rodeo Bar. Dickerson, with just bass and drums behind, leaned into his Joe Maphis double neck and burned like a raggedy Les Paul on a surfboard.

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